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Past Films

West Side Story (1961)

  • Starring: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno
  • Director: Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise
  • Genre(s): Drama, Romance, Crime, Musical
  • Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 153 min.

These FREE screenings are part of MOXIE FLIX, a monthly series focusing on essential films for kids to see before they turn 13.

Summary: This romantic musical update of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ won ten Oscars. The tale of a turf war between rival teenage gangs in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen and the two lovers who cross battle lines has captivated audiences for four decades. The Stephen Sondheim/Leonard Bernstein score is just one of the reasons.

A thorough, spoiler-filled Parent’s Guide can be found here.

Made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Missouri Arts Council.

"West Side Story remains a landmark of musical history. "
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"How does the film -- which won ten Oscars on its 1961 release -- stand up now? Very well indeed."
- Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"It still represents a brave and effective fusion of serious and fantasy elements, and offers two and one-half hours of solid entertainment."
- James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"Jerome Robbins’s legendary choreography needs the biggest screen it can get; when the movie’s firing on all cylinders of music, lyrics and motion (twice: “America” and “Gee, Officer Krupke”) there’s little to touch it. "
- Tim Robey, The Telegraph
"West Side Story is a beautifully-mounted, impressive, emotion-ridden and violent musical which, in its stark approach to a raging social problem and realism of unfoldment, may set a pattern for future musical presentations."
- Whitney Willaims, Variety
"West Side Story is a magnificent show, a milestone in movie musicals, a box-office smash. It is so good that superlatives are superfluous. Let it be noted that the film musical, the one dramatic form that is purely American and purely Hollywood, has never been done better."
- James Powers, The Hollywood Reporter